Four dynamic decades ago, The University of Texas at Dallas began as a collection of research stations in a North Texas cotton field. Founded at the dawn of the Information Age and steeped in science and technology, the University has been more intent on creating the future than on preserving its history.
This website, launched in 2009 during the University's celebration of its 40th year, is intended to address the growing sense within the University community that capturing our history is not only a matter of sentiment and reminiscence, but also important to helping navigate our way forward. Our history has something to tell us today about the kind of University we will be tomorrow.
When you're moving fast (as UT Dallas always has), you're bound to travel light. So if some relevant historical detail is not found here, it is probably a reflection of the nature of a youthful institution's disregard for archiving. This site isn't a complete record of University history. But this site is intended, through presentation of available images, recordings and facts, to reflect what is known officially about the beginnings of UT Dallas, and also to capture more of the University's history.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD or UT Dallas) is a public research university in the University of Texas System. The main campus is in the Richardson, Texas, Telecom Corridor, 18 miles (29 km) north of Downtown Dallas. The institution, established in 1961 as the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest and later renamed the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (SCAS), began as a research arm of Texas Instruments. In 1969, the founders bequeathed SCAS to the state of Texas, officially creating the University of Texas at Dallas.
The university has been characterized by rapid growth in research output and its competitive undergraduate admissions policies since its inception. Less than 47 years after its founding, the Carnegie Foundation had classified the university as a doctoral research university with "Highest Research Activity"—faster than any other school in Texas. Further, the university is associated with four Nobel Prizes, and has members of both the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Engineering on its faculty. Research projects include the areas of Space Science, Bioengineering, Cybersecurity, Nanotechnology, and Behavioral and Brain Sciences. The University of Texas at Dallas offers more than 138 academic programs across its eight schools and hosts more than 50 research centers and institutes. With a number of interdisciplinary degree programs, its curriculum is designed to allow study that crosses traditional disciplinary lines and to enable students to participate in collaborative research labs. For the spring 2018 commencement, the university granted 2,393 bachelor's degrees, 2,090 master's degrees, and 107 PhDs for a total of 4,590 degrees.